Housing Roundtable Forum Results

By Jason Sorens | January 10, 2022

The 2021 Housing We Need stakeholder roundtable forum was held at Saint Anselm College on December 10th as a hybrid event. (The online portion of the event is available on video here.) The in-person audience had the opportunity to discuss and vote on two questions. Each table reported out its most popular answers to the two questions, and then the whole room voted on those responses. Respondents were allowed to select up to three responses for each question.

The poll results are available on this page. The first question was, "What are we protecting when we prevent new housing?" The responses were, in order of popularity:

  1. Existing character and way of life; fear of change - 28%
  2. Home values/Property owner investments - 21%
  3. Myths/misperceptions (school capacity, crime, etc.) - 12%
  4. Perceived homogeneity (a fear of immigrants/other ethnicities) - 12%
  5. History/Tradition - 9%
  6. Low taxes - 7%
  7. Education costs - 5%
  8. Fear of overtaxing infrastructure - 3%
  9. Distrust of government and developers - 2%
  10. Environmental impacts - 2%
  11. Stake in community/Local control - 0%

The second question was, "How should we respond to community concerns?" The responses were:

  1. Activate "pro-housing" people: attend meetings, run against the decision-makers - 30%
  2. Humanize the issue; share real stories - 24%
  3. More community forums to hear/learn concerns, one-on-one discussions - 11%
  4. Explain how development can enhance a neighborhood (e.g., green space) - 9%
  5. Re-examine and share vision of projects to help community understand - 6%
  6. Use the data we have - 6%
  7. Town/state leadership should be more afraid that NOT changing will do more harm - 6%
  8. Work on the jargon ("teacher housing" or "community housing" instead of "workforce") - 6%
  9. Recognize what communities will gain - 4%